How To Become An Insurance Agent In North Carolina

North Carolina

What Kind Of Agent Are You Going To Be?

A majority of people who are applying for their insurance license have a plan in already in place of where they are going to use it. If you don't yet have a plan on how you will be using your insurance license, this is the place to start. Here are some of the questions that you should ask yourself:

  • What type of insurance am I going to sell?
  • Am I starting my own agency, or working inside of an existing agency? 
    • It may depend on how your agency is set up to tell you what type of licenses you need to hold.
  • What types of licenses does my company require me to hold? 

Answering these questions should give you tell you the types of insurance licenses you need. If you are still unsure of which lines to pursue, you can always ask the folks in the state licensing office at 919-807-6800 or email the License Department.

How To Get Your Insurance License In North Carolina

  Pre-License Education

The first step in getting a North Carolina insurance license is taking pre-license education courses. These are state required courses pertaining to the subject matter that will be on the license exam. To fill the pre-license requirement, you must complete twenty (20) hours of education coursework per line of authority that you wish to hold. You will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Keep this certificate, as you will need it when taking your exam.

Example: If you want to get a Life Insurance license, then you would need to take twenty (20) hours of coursework. If you are going for Life & Health (L&H), forty (40) hours is your requirement. For Life & Health (L&H) and Property & Casualty (P&C), you will need eighty (80) hours total of pre-license education.

Most applicants choose to take these courses online, as it fits their schedule better, but there are also in person courses available. You should choose which format in which to take your courses based on your preferred method of learning. The goal isn't just to get the courses out of the way, it's to prepare you to pass your license exam on the first attempt.

StateRequirement recommends Kaplan Education Company for all pre-license education courses.

You can find a list course of approved North Carolina pre-license education providers on this North Carolina Department of Insurance PDF.

Note: You have ninety (90) days after completing your pre-license education to pass the corresponding license exam. If you do not pass the exam in this timeframe, you will need to retake the pre-license course.

StateRequirement recommends that you take pre-licensing education for one line at a time, then pass the exam. This will allow you to be sure you will pass each exam without having to retake the education.

License Application

Once you have completed your pre-licensing education, you are now ready to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have passed the exam for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.

The fee for an online application is $50 per line, plus a $50 application fee, the $38 fingerprint fee, and a $6 NIPR fee.

Fill out your online application on the NIPR North Carolina page.


North Carolina requires that all insurance license applicants provide fingerprints prior to licensing. Giving your fingerprints will initiate a background check. If you have any prior misdemeanors or felonies, this may affect the outcome of your licensing efforts. For more information on this topic, call the North Carolina Department of Insurance at 919-807-6800 or email the License Department.

The fee for having fingerprints taken is $38 (you should have already paid this fee to NIPR in the application).

Schedule your fingerprinting appointment with any of the approved vendors in this North Carolina Fingerprint Provider PDF. Please read the instructions on this PDF, as some of the providers may not provide the fingerprint information directly to the Department of Insurance, and you will have to do this manually).

Insurance License Exams

The next step after submitting your application and having your fingerprints taken is to pass the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each line of insurance you wish to carry.

You should receive an email from Pearson Vue after submitting your application with a "reservation number" to take the exams.

You have ninety (90) days from the time you completed your pre-licensing course to the time you pass the exam. If you do not pass the exam in this time period, you will need to retake the pre-licensing education for that line. There is also a five (5) test maximum until you would need to retake the education.

This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching you. For people who haven't tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam.

The fee for each attempt of the exams is $46. When you show up you must have a photo ID and any other documentation that Pearson Vue requires you to have. Each exam contains 55 multiple choice questions. Here is the North Carolina Insurance Exam Content Outline provided by Pearson Vue.

To explain scoring of this exam, we will quote the Pearson Vue North Carolina Insurance Licensing Examination Candidate Guide,



Equating and Scaling

There are multiple versions of each of the licensing examinations. These versions are known as forms. Although all forms of an examination are developed based on the content outlines, the difficulty of the forms of an examination may vary slightly because different questions appear on each form. To ensure that no candidate is put at an unfair advantage or disadvantage due to the particular form of an examination that he or she is given, a statistical procedure known as equating is used to correct differences in form difficulty.

For example, for an examination with two (2) forms, Form A and Form B, the state licensing agency determines that answering 30 questions correctly on Form A demonstrates the minimum amount of knowledge necessary to be licensed. It is further determined through the equating process that Form B contains slightly more difficult questions than Form A; therefore, answering 30 questions correctly on Form A would indicate the same level of knowledge as answering only 28 questions correctly on Form B. Under this set of circumstances, a score of 30 questions correct would be used as the passing score on Form A whereas a score of 28 questions correct would be used as the passing score on Form B.

A second statistical procedure known as scaling is used to derive the numerical score to report for each candidate. Scaling is used to place a raw score on a common reporting scale on which each scaled score represents a given level of knowledge regardless of the difficulty of the form on which the raw score was achieved. 

To illustrate how scaling works, suppose that in the examination example used above, the state licensing agency decides to use a score of 500 as the passing score for reporting purposes. (Note that the score selected to be used as the reported passing score is not related to, and has no bearing on, the difficulty of the examination.) Based on the information provided above, a raw score of 30 on Form A would translate to a scaled score of 500; a raw score of 28 on Form B would also translate to a scaled score of 500 since a raw score of 30 on Form A represents the same level of knowledge as a raw score of 28 on Form B.


The passing score of an examination was set by the North Carolina Department of Insurance (in conjunction with Pearson VUE) after a comprehensive study was completed for each examination. Raw scores are converted into scaled scores that can range from 0 to 100. To avoid misuse of score information, numeric scores are only reported to failing candidates. The scaled score that is reported to you is neither the number of questions you answered correctly nor the percentage of questions you answered correctly. With a passing score of 70, any score below 70 indicates how close the candidate came to passing, rather than the actual number or percentage of questions the candidates answered correctly.

Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It's extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.

Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn't the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.

Note: StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another.

You may register to take your exams and find more information on the Pearson Vue North Carolina Exams website.

Application Review

Once you have submitted your application and have filled all the other requirements, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check will also be reviewed.

If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued within three to five (3-5) business days. If there are any items from your background check that need to be reviewed, it may slow down the process of issuance. If this is the case, the state may contact you to provide context to the issues that they have run into.

You will receive an email from Pearson Vue regarding your license acceptance. This email will also have a link to print your license.


You've done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success!  We're proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.

North Carolina Department Of Insurance Contact Information

Mailing Address:

North Carolina Department of Insurance
Agent Services
1204 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1204
Phone: 919-807-6800
Fax: 919-715-3794

Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources, and was most recently updated in November 2016.

Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. Huge Hammer LLC and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.

Disclosure: StateRequirement has an affiliation with Kaplan Education company, and may receive compensation based on user activity on this site. We truly believe that Kaplan offers excellent products and services, and compliments the mission of StateRequirement.